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Yosemite - any advice for first timers. #2766935
03/22/18 01:48 AM
03/22/18 01:48 AM
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I’m trying to plan a trip for me and my wife to Yosemite for hiking and getting away from normal everyday life stuff
Thinking about May for a Monday to Friday thing
Probably not camping but considering a 2 day hike with an overnight maybe

I’m not sure my wife is up for the challenge of half dome, which might bum me out a little, but looking do do moderately challenging long hikes

I’ve been looking into it a bit, but it seems like a trip you can plan right or plan wrong. So I figured maybe sine most of you have been there, maybe you’d tell some good Yosemite experience stories. Maybe I learn something, and maybe just read some good stories

So, anyone been there?
Tell us your stories
cowabunga
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Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2766950
03/22/18 02:42 AM
03/22/18 02:42 AM
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We’ve always stayed at the lodge at the falls. Might get lucky and get a room there. The hike up to the top of Yosemite falls is awesome and takes a good part of a day. Going up the Mist trail and connecting up with other trails is cool. Dinner at the Auwanee (?) lodge is worth s splurge. Our stays there have always been about relaxing.

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2766955
03/22/18 02:50 AM
03/22/18 02:50 AM
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Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2766962
03/22/18 03:01 AM
03/22/18 03:01 AM
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If you've never been there, yeah, you have to see the Valley. The month of May might not as crowded as summer, but in case it is- park early, along the road, not in a lot (total grid lock late afternoon trying to get out of the lots). The road in the Valley is a loop-park on the outbound side of the loop. This is if you're not staying in the Valley. In any case, if you're lodged or parked, take the shuttles around the Valley.

One of the toughest hikes I've done was up Yosemite Falls. Never ending switchbacks. You can do it in a day but give yourself the whole day. Or do Vernal Falls Mist Trail, but continue up to Nevada Falls. Most people stop at the top of Vernal and don't continue. An easy hike is the one to Mirror Lake, just below Half Dome. Do a polar bear swim in the lake. Brrrrrrrr...

All that said, I much prefer the High Country- the Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake, Tioga Pass areas. Little to no crowds even mid summer. A much better High Sierra experience IMHO. A week in the high country and going to the Valley feels like going to Downtown LA or Disneyland. We only go to the Valley to shower ( I think on Thursdays one of the lodges opens the pool to the public for free, along with the showers). Only problem, especially given these late season storms- the road will probably be closed.

In any case, enjoy yourselves.

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2766975
03/22/18 03:43 AM
03/22/18 03:43 AM
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Doof has posted up a ton of good info over the years, so you might want to check old threads.

you might consider working backwards from whatever accommodations you manage to book. May isn't quite high season, but where you are staying will determine what you can get to quickly. Roads to the high country might still be closed then, but there is plenty to do starting in the valley. Weather is your next hurdle for the overnight hiking plan. Depending upon that you might have to carry a ton of stuff to keep you and the wife comfortable. So maybe big hike on day 1, stay overnight in the valley and big hike on day 2...

If you are at all interested in big wall climbing then maybe spend a bit of time near camp 4 and El Capitan.

Enjoy!

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2766982
03/22/18 03:59 AM
03/22/18 03:59 AM
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It's pronounced "Yo! Semite!" If you pronounce it "yosemitee" the locals will spit in your coffee like people do in San Francisco when tourists call it "Frisco".

Also bring your own TP and wipes. It gets crowded and the outhouses can be as filthy as anything I've seen in a 3rd world country. That's not a joke. Last time I was there I pooped behind one because it was an emergency and I couldn't stomach the inside. barf


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Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2766985
03/22/18 04:14 AM
03/22/18 04:14 AM
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Go in September.

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2766988
03/22/18 04:25 AM
03/22/18 04:25 AM
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do this:

1. get to the W gate at barely pink sky o'clock, don't be late.
2. drive in free bc there's no ranger there yet.
3. drive straight down to the valley and witness a surreal sunrise paint up the surrounding walls and falls - all before the campers have woken up and the buses have bloated it up.
4. go to the lodge pretending to be guests & help yourself to the good coffee station (self serve) on the 2nd floor balcony.
5. drive out and to the east, just barely escaping the masses that will now be streaming into the valley.
6. stop and check shit out, but keep moving to the east ahead of the bulk flow of traffic.


Nature's finest transportation
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Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2766989
03/22/18 04:30 AM
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I agree to see the Valley even if for a day if you've never been there before. The part where you drive in and see El Cap and Half Dome and the valley in a single view is worth it alone. Gaylor Lakes is a short steep hike over a hill just after the Tioga entrance on the east side, and you could have the place entirely or almost to yourselves on a weekday in May. Granite Lakes (super crystal clear water) are a short hike from there as well as an old mine and the upper lakes. Awesome views and a can be done as a day trip (also sort of impossible to get lost or really even need a map on that hike). Pack a lunch and Sawyer squeeze water filter so you can drink from the lakes and creeks on your hikes, maybe a rocket stove to make coffee or tea. Extra pair of wool socks if you're hiking the morning. If you plan a high country day trip, make sure the road into the area you're going to is open.

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2767025
03/22/18 09:45 AM
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Best thing about May is the waterfalls will be at peak power. Worst thing is it can snow, even in the valley, and be cold as hell. Ask me how I know.

Haven't been there in a while but we always camped in the valley and did day hikes/overnighters, except for one memorable week-long trip to Lake Merced and beyond.

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2767066
03/22/18 12:10 PM
03/22/18 12:10 PM
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I also recommend staying at the Lodge at the Falls, best place available without going full millionaire berserk mode (still not cheap). It will be tough to find any availabilities this close to your dates though, you may have to stick to the Half Dome Village cabins with shared bath.

If the road is open I recommend you drive up to Glacier Point and do a trail from there (or take a shuttle and take one of the trails going down the valley).

Also just by driving the valley loop and stopping everywhere you will take in a lot of breathtaking scenery in a very short time.


...
Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2767082
03/22/18 01:28 PM
03/22/18 01:28 PM
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If you are thinking of climbing Half Dome you need to apply for a permit now. It's $10 to apply so you're not out much if you don't use it. The cables go up sometime around the last week of May. Before they go up they are still there but laying flat on the rock and you don't need a permit to climb them. The mist trail is one of the must do hikes in the valley and if you do that you're already half way up so you should go for it. You could spend the night in Little Yosemite Valley and make it an easy two day hike to the top and back down. BTW, the record time to the top of Half Dome and back to the trail head is 2:17:52 by the late Dean Potter. I've never been up the cables but I have been down them four times.

May is the peak of the spring climbing season, if the weather is good the walls will be filled with climbers. If you're interested go down to El Cap bridge and look for Tom Evans. He's a photographer, the park service used to let him stay in the park in exchange for talking story with the tourons but that program ended now you need to bribe him with Cobras,

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: kelly7873] #2767198
03/22/18 04:32 PM
03/22/18 04:32 PM
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Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Link 4

Link 5



Anyway, here is a simple plan:


1 Start getting in the cardio now....only run up steps, no more elelavtors, and sprint everywhere else
2 Take bus to Glacier Point
3 Take Panorama Trail to Little Yosemite Valley and camp (you booked this in advance right)
4 Up Quarter Dome to Half Dome, if cables are up and you have the pass, go up (bring some gardening gloves), if cables are not up, head towards Cloud's Rest. When time is right, return to camp at Little Yosemite Valley
5 Take Mist Trail down if you in a hurry to do the next thing, or take John Muir trail back down if you have crappy knees

Another plan:

1 Tent cabin in Curry Village. Force yourself to sit at table with foreigners and drinks expensive beer
2 Go up as high as you can on Yosemite Falls Trail, return to Curry Village
3 Take bus to Glacier Point, take 4 mile trail back if you are feeling the strain from the day before. Panorama Trail to Nevada Falls to Mist if you are game

A thing to do which I always would recommend no matter what is to climb up the talus/boulders/rockfall anywhere in the valley, go as high as you can, but it is neat if you do it at the base of El Capitan. Once you get above the tree line, you leave much of the rest of 'stuff' behind. And next to the vertical wall of the valley, life becomes a little less ordinary.

PS
Skinny dipping at Polly Dome lake....well, if you did this in May, you'd be a better man than I.

PPS
Webcams and traffic link.

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Random Guy] #2767212
03/22/18 04:46 PM
03/22/18 04:46 PM
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We stayed here one time;

http://yosemitebug.com/

BTW.... did you ever make it to Snowbasin?

Re: Yosemite - any advice for first timers. [Re: Q_Surf] #2767217
03/22/18 04:53 PM
03/22/18 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: Q_Surf
do this:

1. get to the W gate at barely pink sky o'clock, don't be late.
2. drive in free bc there's no ranger there yet.
3. drive straight down to the valley and witness a surreal sunrise paint up the surrounding walls and falls - all before the campers have woken up and the buses have bloated it up.
4. go to the lodge pretending to be guests & help yourself to the good coffee station (self serve) on the 2nd floor balcony.
5. drive out and to the east, just barely escaping the masses that will now be streaming into the valley.
6. stop and check shit out, but keep moving to the east ahead of the bulk flow of traffic.


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